Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has unveiled a marker declaring the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) in Sta. Ana, Cagayan Valley as a labor laws compliant economic zone, bringing to six the number of economic zones that have been declared such.
In 2014 and earlier this year, Baldoz unveiled Labor Laws Compliant Zone markers at the Luisita Industrial Park in Tarlac; Cebu Light Industrial Park and Mactan Economic Zone II in Cebu; Baguio Export Processing Zone in Baguio City; and Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental.
Baldoz, who travelled to Sta. Ana before Labor Day to unveil the marker and award Certificates of Compliance to 15 zone locators, said the unveiling of the labor laws compliant zone marker in the CEZA is in pursuit of the objectives of the new Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS), a major reform program of the DOLE, which seeks to foster a culture of voluntary compliance among the country’s business establishments with all labor laws and occupational safety and health regulations, including with anti-child labor laws.
Aside from the CoC, Baldoz also awarded the 15 zone establishments with the Tripartite Certificate of Compliance with Labor Standards (TCCLS) after the regional Tripartite Certification Committee, composed of Adelaido Dayrit, management representative; Lucas Ofelia, worker representative; and Engr. Marvin Sales, DOLE TSSD chief representing the government, successfully passed the TCC’s table and site validations.
The TCCLS is awarded to business establishments for being compliant with the General Labor Standards (GLS), Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS) and Child Labor Laws. The first level seal of good housekeeping under the program, the TCCLS is also a pre-qualification requirement in obtaining the 2nd level award, or the Secretary’s Award, and the highest award, the Presidential Award, or the Tripartite Seal of Excellence Award. A TCCLS holder qualifies for the Presidential Award or Tripartite Seal of Excellence Award if it has obtained four other certifications, or awards, such as the Child Labor-Free Establishment, Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan, Outstanding Labor Management Council Award and Productivity Olympics Award.
The TCCLS is valid for three years during which recipient companies will not be subjected to joint assessment, unless there is a complaint that would warrant the conduct of complaint visit under the new Labor Laws Compliance System.
The Incentivizing Compliance Program is a program that seeks to reward and recognize establishments voluntarily complying with labor laws, including laws against child labor.
The CEZA, of the country’s newest economic zones, is home to 15 business locators mostly engaged in online gaming and two sub-contractors, all of which were CoCs during the Secretary’s visit.
The 15 locators are Superb Kings, Inc.; Golden Luck Technologies; First Cagayan Converge Data Center, Inc.; First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corp.; Philippine Avia Group, Int’l.; Salon International Group Ltd., Inc.; North Cagayan Gaming and Amusement Corp.; Just Add Pacific Services Corp.; Eastern Hawaii Leisure Co. Ltd.; Succeed Asia Ventures, Inc.; Eden’s Lodging House; Meridian Vista Gaming Corp.; Pacific Marianas Leisure & Development, Inc.; Licere Resorts Group, Inc.; and Sta. Elena Construction & Development Corporation.
The two sub-contractors, all of which provide security services, are Sigma Security Services, Inc. and Alpha Sigma Investigation and Security Agency.
At the program ceremony following unveiling of the marker at the zone, Baldoz said the DOLE comes to business establishments under the new Labor Laws Compliance System to show how the labor inspectorate has changed and shed the image of the DOLE as a “police officer” looking for violation.
“So it is worth the while to travel this far to ensure that you understand how the system works. We want you to own the system and value it because it is yours and it is for your own good. We are here to only facilitate your compliance and help you,” she said.
“The unveiling of this marker is part of our continuing effort to foster a culture of voluntary compliance with all labor laws following the directive of President Benigno S. Aquino III to the DOLE to ensure that all labor laws that provides protection and benefits to our workers are implemented and carried out. This is part of the reform,” said Baldoz.
In his response, CEZA Administrator Jose Mari Ponce said he considered the unveiling of the Labor Laws Compliant zone marker a “milestone.” “It is historic because this is the first time that the CESA is certified as a compliant zone for general labor and occupational safety and health standards. This marker is a tangible expression of CEZA’s commitment, support, and belief, not only in the rule of law, but also in the protection of our workers in the eco-zone community,” he said.
Joining Secretary Baldoz at the unveiling were DOLE Regional Office No. 2 Director Sixto Rodriguez, Jr., Assistant Regional Director Elpidion B. Atal, Jr., and other CEZA officials.